Game 40, Mariners at Indians

Dave · May 17, 2012 at 7:39 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Noesi vs McAlister, 9:05 am.

An early morning game against the Indians with a struggling starter on the mound? This is going to be a ratings bonanza for ROOT Sports…

Alex Liddi gets his first professional start in left field tonight after playing a couple of innings there last night. While I know that this is just about getting Liddi in the line-up a bit more often, it is a little strange that they’re using Liddi in left. If they wanted a right-handed hitter with some power who strikes out too much to play left field, they could just use Casper Wells, who is basically the outfield version of this skillset. There’s really no reason to prefer Liddi to Wells, especially not once you factor in the defensive difference. But, once the BABIP comes down and his line doesn’t look quite so shiny, I’m sure we won’t see this too often. It’s just a blip on the radar.

Ackley, 2B
Saunders, CF
Ichiro, RF
Seager, 3B
Smoak, 1B
Liddi, LF
Jaso, C
Carp, DH
Ryan, SS

Comments

131 Responses to “Game 40, Mariners at Indians”

  1. Leroy Stanton on May 17th, 2012 8:09 am

    Liddi has a .429 average with RISP, while Wells is only at .250. Plus, Liddi is Italian so that breaks up the string of non-Italians in the lineup.

  2. lesch2k on May 17th, 2012 8:10 am

    what about carp in LF and Liddi at DH?

  3. Logger on May 17th, 2012 8:13 am

    Wedge is certainly becoming creative in finding ways to keep Figgins on the bench. Not that I am complaining.

  4. CCW on May 17th, 2012 8:15 am

    Isn’t it just a matter of time (probably not much more time) before Smoak gets sent to Tacoma to try to fix himself? That, I assume, is when Wells is going to get his shot.

  5. Kyle Miller on May 17th, 2012 8:32 am

    If Liddi keeps hitting decent and Smoak keeps struggling, damn straight they’ll move him down to Tacoma. I really liked his potential when he came over, and hopefully a AAA stint will be just what he needs to find a swing that works.

    Jaso is in at catcher! Jaso is in at catcher! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

  6. darndy on May 17th, 2012 8:35 am

    Everyone talks about how much they dislike Figgins (I agree he is bad), but how bad does Ryan have to be to sit an effing game? Wedge just needs to get over his boy-crush on Ryan. Its creepy.

  7. Logger on May 17th, 2012 8:40 am

    darndy, Ryan has been the 5th best position player for the M’s thus far (0.5 WAR). Who do you propose taking his place that wouldn’t be a significant downgrade defensively? Kawasaki and is -0.4 WAR is not the answer.

  8. Paddy on May 17th, 2012 8:58 am

    Jaso! Jaso! Jaso! I am not sure if I am more happy that Jaso is catching or that Ryan is playing again.

  9. marc w on May 17th, 2012 9:00 am

    I’m a bigger fan of Liddi than Dave is, but I have to admit this is baffling. Wells is the better LF, and I think even Alex Liddi himself would admit it. With a RHP on the mound, you’d think they’d go to Carp, which just tells me that his shoulder may be a bit worse than they thought.

    Wells can PH if they bring in a lefty reliever, but Liddi’s RH himself, so there’s not a huge platoon-split boost to be gained by subbing one for the other. Weird.

  10. djw on May 17th, 2012 9:01 am

    Ryan’s low batting average is driven by the a 171 BABIP, which is unsustainably low. Furthermore, he’s an outstanding shortstop and the drop-off is considerable after that. Starting him at SS most of the time is the best choice given the current roster. There’s nothing “creepy”, let alone misguided, about it.

  11. Glen on May 17th, 2012 9:09 am

    @CCW –

    Although SSS, Smoak may be beginning to break out of his slump. The last 7 days has seen Smoak post .333/.333/.500, .361 wOBA, and a 134 wRC+, good for second best on the team behind Ackley.

    Just something to keep your eye on.

  12. Gabe on May 17th, 2012 9:10 am

    Personally I myself just can’t wait for the Liddi at SS experiment to start. Not that I really think this is a good idea but I did see it in one of the papers yesterday that Wedge is toying with the idea to get him in the lineup more. I’d rather have him in left than at short, so I guess there’s a silver lining in here somewhere…

  13. roosevelt on May 17th, 2012 9:22 am

    Dave, I’d like to see a series of blogs about your ‘plan of action’ for the M’s assuming that you are the GM. Si?

  14. vj on May 17th, 2012 10:20 am

    Jose Lopez grounding out reminded me, how many ex-Mariners the Indians have on their roster: Choo, Cabrera, Lopez, Kotchman plus Hannahan, who’s injured. If he wasn’t injured, they could put Lopez at 2d base and field an all-ex-Mariner infield. Anyway, weird.

  15. djw on May 17th, 2012 10:23 am

    This must be a fun conversation. “You know who Brendan Ryan is, don’t you?”

  16. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 10:25 am

    Now is the time, Eech

  17. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 10:26 am

    Just came into this. I don’t see the “Liddi keeps hitting decent” part, at least based on his performance this month. His strikeout rate is almost up to 40%, and his average has been dropping despite an absurdly high BABIP (.462).

    I think the guy who said yesterday “Remember when we thought Alex Liddi was fixed?” had it right.

  18. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 10:30 am

    As far as Liddi in left goes… I think Wedge values defense at certain positions, like shortstop and center field. Otherwise, I don’t think he takes defensive ability into account – at all.

  19. Paul B on May 17th, 2012 11:18 am

    I totally forgot it was an early game today, just turned on the radio. I see the Cleveland starter gave up a bucketload of walks, and combined with their usual 4 hits, the M’s parlayed that into some runs.

  20. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 11:24 am

    “Ryan’s low batting average is driven by the a 171 BABIP, which is unsustainably low.”

    I know stats prove that approx 30% of all batted balls in play go for hits, but if any single player could indeed sustain this level of BABIP, the Mariners probably employ him.

  21. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 11:25 am

    This will probably sound like a weird thing to say, given his current struggles, but – I am encouraged by Brendan Ryan’s ongoing penchant for taking walks this year.

  22. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 11:26 am

    haha Mike!

  23. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 11:27 am

    “Not for the faint of heart: Mariners Baseball”

    - Ken Levine

  24. djw on May 17th, 2012 11:32 am

    This may be the most egregious blown call I’ve ever seen.

  25. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 11:32 am

    I should have probably made it plural and said “them” instead of “him.”

    My bad.

    Yeah, I caught the Levine statement, too.

    Not to worry, League will eventually come in and strike out Hafner in the 9th inning with the bases … what, last year – in this stadium -really? Never mind.

  26. djw on May 17th, 2012 11:33 am

    Thank you 3rd base umpire. Sheesh.

  27. Kyle Miller on May 17th, 2012 11:36 am

    Liddi has hit like absolute shit today.

  28. kbarnhouse on May 17th, 2012 11:36 am

    I’m following on gameday – what was the “on field delay” before the Smoak at bat?

  29. Kyle Miller on May 17th, 2012 11:37 am

    Montero PH for Ryan, Kawasaki for sure coming in as a defensive replacement.

  30. Mid80sRighty on May 17th, 2012 11:38 am

    WTF Liddi? How does he swing through those last two pitches for the K? Fastballs right over the plate too much for him now?

  31. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 11:39 am

    Speaking of absurdly low BABIP… Mike Carp.

  32. Kyle Miller on May 17th, 2012 11:42 am

    Ugh. Who didn’t see that curve coming?

  33. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 11:45 am

    Speaking of potentially losing his pre-assigned stranglehold on a starting position in the lineup … Mike Carp.

    And, I hate that – too … but it is happening right before our eyes.

    Fortunately, there is nobody knocking on the door in the Minors to fill in any of the teams gap(s)(s)(s)(s).

    Unless …… oh, crap – Peggy is playing again and rehabbing his body/game, isn’t he?

  34. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 11:50 am

    Wish I’d gotten to see that play by Ackley!

  35. Mid80sRighty on May 17th, 2012 11:51 am

    Flashing some leather here in the 8th!

  36. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 11:51 am

    I don’t mind morning baseball – if it’s followed up by evening baseball (live).

    This seemingly perpetual road trip has sucked a bit.

  37. JR Ewing on May 17th, 2012 11:52 am

    While I certainly endorse the use of large sample sizes, I also think some small sample sizes can tell a good story. In Ichiro’s 25 highest LI situations this season, he has 2 hits, 3 walks, and only 1 of the 30 base runners scored during those 25 plate appearances.

  38. Mid80sRighty on May 17th, 2012 11:54 am

    No worries here, Lopez is coming to the plate.

  39. Mid80sRighty on May 17th, 2012 11:55 am

    Holy shit….

  40. mariners88 on May 17th, 2012 11:56 am

    I wake up, flip open my laptop, and click on Gameday just in time to see Lopez homer.

    /sigh

  41. kbarnhouse on May 17th, 2012 11:56 am

    Oh.My.God. Anyone buy Lopez to do that to us

  42. jase411 on May 17th, 2012 11:56 am

    What….the….f__k…………

  43. jephdood on May 17th, 2012 11:56 am

    I absolutely cannot take this team anymore.

  44. momo2119 on May 17th, 2012 11:56 am

    Delabar’s biggest flaw, that’s 6 homers given up already this season by him. Dammit

  45. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 11:58 am

    I had to step away for a minute. WHAT THE **** JUST HAPPENED?

  46. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 11:58 am

    It does not get any better than this. Getting beat by which former Mariner, this time? “THAT” former Mariner. Really.

  47. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 11:58 am

    Lopez hit a 3 run homer

  48. jephdood on May 17th, 2012 12:00 pm

    Noesi: Man, I pitched great. And nothing to show for it???
    Felix: Get used to it, bro.

  49. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 12:02 pm

    Okay, at least we have the top of our order coming up…

  50. vard on May 17th, 2012 12:02 pm

    League couldn’t be trusted to get 4 outs???

    I don’t get it.

  51. Kyle Miller on May 17th, 2012 12:03 pm

    Lopez would do that to us. I hate everything.

  52. terryoftacoma on May 17th, 2012 12:03 pm

    Why? Fastball hitter+ fastball pitcher=home run.. Dammit!!

  53. Dogham on May 17th, 2012 12:06 pm

    If Eric Wedge continues to believe in Steve Delabar, then I continue to believe Eric Wedge needs to be gone. ASAP!!!

  54. djw on May 17th, 2012 12:06 pm

    this home plate umpire has been just awful.

  55. terryoftacoma on May 17th, 2012 12:06 pm

    So much for the top of the line up. grr

  56. Swungonandbelted on May 17th, 2012 12:13 pm

    Son of a….. >.< I look away from the gamecast to deal with some work email for a few minutes and it goes from 4-1 M's to tied up at 4-4… can these guys make it through one day without stepping on their wieners?

  57. terryoftacoma on May 17th, 2012 12:18 pm

    Rockies tomorrow and no DH. This upcoming series should be interesting.

  58. Mid80sRighty on May 17th, 2012 12:18 pm

    Why the hell didn’t Wedge get himself booted after that BS call on Saunders? Show some fire, show your team you’ll fight for them, show the umps you’re not just going to roll over on all their BS calls…

  59. kenshabby on May 17th, 2012 12:28 pm

    What was that M’s slogan from the early-mid 2000s…”You gotta love these guys!”

    For this team I submit: “You gotta be getting pretty goddamned sick of these guys!”

  60. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 12:31 pm

    Well, Terry, at least with Olivo on the DL it means we’ll still see Montero batting (instead of sitting on the bench watching Miguel hack away).

  61. Mike Snow on May 17th, 2012 12:33 pm

    It’s too early for the Mariners to score. Hafner won’t be up to hit his walkoff homer against League until at least the 11th.

  62. djw on May 17th, 2012 12:35 pm

    Holy crap what a lousy AB for Montero.

  63. terryoftacoma on May 17th, 2012 12:36 pm

    This is true, Westy.

  64. Swungonandbelted on May 17th, 2012 12:36 pm

    and Jesus strikes out with runners on 1st and 3rd to end their half of the 10th….

  65. mariners88 on May 17th, 2012 12:36 pm

    I’m curious as to why we pinch ran Kawasaki with one out, and him coming in on 1st… Doesn’t seem like the ideal pinch runner situation, especially considering his SB record so far (0-2).

  66. Kazinski on May 17th, 2012 12:41 pm

    Everyone talks about how much they dislike Figgins (I agree he is bad), but how bad does Ryan have to be to sit an effing game?

    You must be feeling pretty stupid right about now. Ryan has 2 walks, a hit, a run, an RBI, and has figured in scoring 3 of the M’s 4 runs today. I think Ryan is going to be just fine by the end of the season, he’s walking 15% of the time which is twice the rate he’s ever put up before. His strikeouts are up some too, but I think as his BABIP gets up above the Mendoza line he’s going to end up putting in one of his best offensive seasons. He’s leading the team in both walks and P/PA, that’s a good thing even if he isn’t seeing the results right now.

  67. jephdood on May 17th, 2012 12:42 pm

    Montero needs to learn how to lay off the sliders if he’s going to live up to his hype.

  68. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 12:48 pm

    They need to wrap this up – I have to go to a meeting in 10 minutes. :-D

    Go Ryan!

  69. PackBob on May 17th, 2012 12:52 pm

    Ryan hasn’t been working walks, he has been given walks. It’s like he’s been so bad that pitchers turn over in their mindset upon reaching such a low level of hitting, because their approach can’t go that low, and Ryan becomes a feared hitter.

  70. matthew on May 17th, 2012 12:55 pm

    Fyeah Saunders!

  71. matthew on May 17th, 2012 12:55 pm

    Westside guy: Looks like they heard ya!

  72. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 12:56 pm

    I keep missing the exciting parts of the game! Darn this job!

    (I do my best Matthew!)

  73. Mid80sRighty on May 17th, 2012 12:57 pm

    Well, Saunders better come out of his shoes in that situation, obviously a fastball was coming.

  74. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 12:57 pm

    It might be just as well that I’ll miss Cleveland’s half inning – not sure if I can take it. :-P

  75. Swungonandbelted on May 17th, 2012 1:02 pm

    Apparently we get the bad BLT today….

  76. momo2119 on May 17th, 2012 1:04 pm

    92-93 mph fastball by League?!?!

  77. pgreyy on May 17th, 2012 1:06 pm

    We should have sold “high” on League earlier.

  78. Mike Snow on May 17th, 2012 1:06 pm

    Working hard to get to Hafner.

  79. pgreyy on May 17th, 2012 1:07 pm

    We can’t have nice things (for long.)

  80. marc w on May 17th, 2012 1:07 pm

    God damn it, Brandon league.

  81. jase411 on May 17th, 2012 1:08 pm

    F YOU BRANDON LEAGUE!

  82. Mike Snow on May 17th, 2012 1:08 pm

    And here we are.

  83. djw on May 17th, 2012 1:08 pm

    Remember all those people who said selling high on League is a terrible idea because it would be “giving up” on the season?

  84. Mike Snow on May 17th, 2012 1:09 pm

    Pinch hitter – what?

  85. mariners88 on May 17th, 2012 1:10 pm

    Getting squeezed? Those all look like strikes on Gameday.

  86. marc w on May 17th, 2012 1:11 pm

    I have no idea why they’d pinch hit Cunningham for Hafner. Sure, League would’ve walked Hafner, but that’s a free base. As it is, they bring up a righty to face League. Who promptly walks him. What a dumb game.

  87. Mid80sRighty on May 17th, 2012 1:12 pm

    Just plunk Santana and end this circus of a game

  88. meeksfred on May 17th, 2012 1:12 pm

    League has got to go, every outing now is just more painful to watch than the last.

  89. zzyzx on May 17th, 2012 1:13 pm

    Why would anyone swing at a pitch at this point?

  90. Mid80sRighty on May 17th, 2012 1:13 pm

    I agree Mariners88, just above the belt is not a ball

  91. Mike Snow on May 17th, 2012 1:13 pm

    My only thought was that maybe Cunningham’s a better bunter if you want to suicide squeeze for the win.

  92. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 1:13 pm

    We need to lose on a PB, wild pitch, or walk-off walk – don’t you think?

  93. djw on May 17th, 2012 1:14 pm

    marc w., Hafner was hit on the hand in previous at bat. I’m guessing that’s why.

  94. pgreyy on May 17th, 2012 1:14 pm

    Weak sauce.

  95. Swungonandbelted on May 17th, 2012 1:14 pm

    God this team sucks….. :(

    “Refuse to Frickin’ Win”

  96. marc w on May 17th, 2012 1:14 pm

    Wheeeeeeeeeee

  97. marc w on May 17th, 2012 1:14 pm

    Thanks, djw. Thanks for nothing, M’s.

  98. terryoftacoma on May 17th, 2012 1:15 pm

    and the fat lady sings again.

  99. Mid80sRighty on May 17th, 2012 1:17 pm

    See, League could have thrown like 5 less pitches if he would have just hit Santana.

  100. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 1:17 pm

    League and Delabar are expediting the callup of Stephen Pryor

  101. SonOfZavaras on May 17th, 2012 1:21 pm

    I swear this damned Cleveland team- doesn’t even matter who’s in the uniforms, what generation- is just always destined to make Mariner fans feel pain.

    This one hurts.

    16-24. With six games against the Rangers coming up SOON.

    We’re going to get bashed to pieces in May.

  102. jephdood on May 17th, 2012 1:27 pm

    Don’t order the BLT. The bacon is burnt, the lettuce is soggy, and the tomato is mealy.

  103. tdzyph on May 17th, 2012 1:30 pm

    How about Vargas, League & Figgins (we pay 9 million of the remaining monies owed) for Youkilis and a AA bat? Sox don’t need him anymore.

  104. jephdood on May 17th, 2012 1:37 pm

    Why would a team building on youth want a broken down old Youkilis?

  105. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 1:41 pm

    Wow – now I’m *really* glad I had a meeting to go to.

    And believe me, I don’t say that very often.

  106. Swungonandbelted on May 17th, 2012 1:49 pm

    40 games in, on track for 97 losses (yet again), half of our offense hitting in the ~.175 – ~.225 range (yet again)…..

  107. pgreyy on May 17th, 2012 2:23 pm

    Are we snake bit or bad?

    I mean…today, we saw great pitching…we saw clutch hitting (even if we all know that doesn’t exist) and we saw a team come back from an emotionally devastating set back to re-take the lead.

    And then we lost.

    I think we all knew that this was not going to be our year…though, we all had hopes that we’d start to see some improvement…some lights in the tunnel. I still believe in the way that Z is trying to build this team.

    I’m not a Wedge fan, but I don’t think things would substantially improve just because you make a switch at manager. Similarly, I don’t think Figgins has any role on this team…but this team is beyond the point where simply cutting an albatross helps us fly.

    Felix has had a couple of bad games. Smoak hasn’t figured things out like we thought. Who knows what we actually have in Brandon League (or, really, ANYONE in our bullpen.) Some of our young talent is showing signs of promise while others are struggling.

    I honestly don’t know what you do other than go out each day and try to figure stuff out.

    (This is usually when someone chimes in to say that we need someone like Lou to kick his hat…but I don’t think that fixes anything.)

  108. dingla on May 17th, 2012 2:30 pm

    Well atleast its another pleasant day in the NW. Go M’s. There’s still hope.

  109. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 2:54 pm

    “Are we snake bit or bad?”

    I suppose it depends on the context, Pete. I think we are bad, but definitely good enough to win it all in the PCL. Probably.

    Hey, back to more important things: When you say you are “at home” awaiting your next gig, I don’t know what that means. Is your home base of providing comedic respite to others – within the Seattle area? Do you ever ply your trade in the Tri-Cities? We have electricity now.

    If you do ever make it this way – and if you can specifically work up a routine on how bad it is to be a Mariner fan these days, I will be there.

  110. Jon on May 17th, 2012 2:55 pm

    At least we don’t have Brandon Morrow. Good thing Jack Z got something for nothing in that deal. Wait, what?

  111. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 2:57 pm

    Never mind, Pete. I clicked on your link. Seattle … home base … duh.

  112. zak24 on May 17th, 2012 2:58 pm

    I’m with dingla ^. This is painful. But we just have to stick it out. Good things are ahead.

  113. tdzyph on May 17th, 2012 3:27 pm

    Youkilis can hit and he is the veteran presence that Wedge won’t stop talking about, plus he fills the DH/1B role vacated when* we send Smoak to Tacoma. Your suggestion isn’t that we keep this team intact is it?

  114. pgreyy on May 17th, 2012 3:28 pm

    @msfanmike

    I’ve played the Tri-Cities a bunch…used to do the Crazy Moose in Pasco…and, more recently, just about every year I find myself at Jokers in Richland. I’ll let you know when that time this year comes around.

    As far as Mariners jokes, yes…I’ve written a few…or rather, they’ve written a few and I’ve just figured out how to tell them. :(

  115. SonOfZavaras on May 17th, 2012 3:42 pm

    Youkilis can hit and he is the veteran presence that Wedge won’t stop talking about, plus he fills the DH/1B role vacated when* we send Smoak to Tacoma. Your suggestion isn’t that we keep this team intact is it?

    I doubt very much they send Smoak to Tacoma. He has nothing left to learn against AAA-level rag-arms. He solves his problems here at the ML-level. As for Youk…bad idea. All around.

    Yes, the suggestion IS that we keep this team largely intact- once we determine who’s a player and who isn’t for us.

    As frustrating as what this quarter-season has been, this ’12 season was all about getting data. With no guarantee that we’d like the vast majority of data that we got.

  116. eponymous coward on May 17th, 2012 3:45 pm

    Good things are ahead.

    At some point, superior process either leads to superior results or you need to re-evaluate whether or not your process is superior.

    It’s getting rather old to blame everything on Bill Bavasi and say that current management bears no blame on why this organization is where it is, going on four years since Bill Bavasi had anything to do with this roster, and nearly complete roster turnover.

    This isn’t to say “fire Jack now” and time to get out the pitchforks and torches… but the clock is definitely ticking on this, and this organization isn’t all much closer to actual contention in the AL than they were in May 2010. The best position player on the team is pushing 40 and is about to hit free agency. There’s nobody who’s clearly an ~average MLB player at 1B, CF, LF (or in RF to replace the HOF RFer about to hit free agency). There isn’t a clear replacement in the origanization for the no-hit SS, who’s 30 (a decent player, but still). While the M’s have some talented arms coming up, as we can see, pitching prospects are some of the most variable kinds of prospects out there. There have been questionable trades (Fister, Morrow) and free agents (Olivo), as well as managerial issues (Wakamatsu and Wedge)/front office problems (Lueke).

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that Zduriencik’s a vast improvement on Bavasi. But that’s not the bar you need to cross when it comes to being a consistently excellent organization. You have to get a lot of things right, and I am not sure this organization has done enough towards that end with Zduriencik.

  117. GLS on May 17th, 2012 4:29 pm

    Well said eponymous.

    Why did we trade Morrow and Fister again?

  118. bookbook on May 17th, 2012 4:39 pm

    It’s days like these when it’s a bit hard to keep the faith, I admit.

    But… There are a lot of potential contributors in the minors, there are a few young players we can imagine as part of the next good Mariners team, and there will be quite a bit of roster flexibility going forward.

    I’d hate to see the M’s only win 65 this year… I hope this is a rough patch, not where we are.

  119. Flaco on May 17th, 2012 4:46 pm

    Is there any reason to be excited? Just another lame season where us fans are told to believe in something we can’t see. I’m old enough to remember being frightened by the cannon firing in centerfield. The aquisitions of way over the hill FA’s . A few future HOF’s and neverending hope. I don’t know how much more I can take. How is this year different than any other year?

  120. GLS on May 17th, 2012 5:14 pm

    It’s hard to keep faith, that’s for sure.

    I looked up team On Base Percentage today on Fangraphs and the Mariners were second to last, just above the Pirates. And yet Eric Wedge wants more aggressive hitters. Presumably, that doesn’t mean swing-at-anything hitters. I don’t know what it means actually. Maybe it’s just one of those things that Managers and Batting Coaches have to say to the media. But it would be easier to keep the faith if these guys would take a few more walks.

  121. zak24 on May 17th, 2012 5:20 pm

    eponymous you mention Fister and Morrow but fail to mention Vargas and League. You mention Olivo but fail to mention Montero. You mention Lueke but fail to mention Jaso.. Carp, Seager, Ackley. Clearly you are making the point that it is time to sound the alarm on the Jack Zduriencik administration, saying “..it is going on four years since Bill Bavasi had anything to do with this roster.” isn’t that like saying it’s going on four years since George Bush had anything to do with shit that Barack Obama is still cleaning up?

    You fail to mention how before Jack Z we had one of the worst farm systems, and in 2012 we have one of the best farm systems

    If you want superiority look at Jackson. If you want results look at Milwaukee. The fact is it is still way too soon to put a grade on what Z has done in Seattle… especially for Armchair GMs like you and I.

    And finally: you mention Ichiro as if he is still producing like a hall of famer.. i believe his average dropped below .280 today. Which wouldn’t be terrible if he wasn’t a selfish clubhouse cancer who is best friends with the owner who has never even been to a game, and has tied Jack Z’s hands. We should be begging Z not to abandon us and our suspect ownership.. he’s doing fine chill out

  122. eponymous coward on May 17th, 2012 5:23 pm

    there will be quite a bit of roster flexibility going forward

    Zduriencik turned over most of the roster by 2011.

    And to be blunt, after hearing

    “we’ll have SO MUCH MORE salary flexibility when Sexson and Washburn are gone”
    “we’ll have SO MUCH MORE salary flexibility when Bradley is gone”
    “we’ll have SO MUCH MORE salary flexibility when Figgins is gone”

    It just gets old to keep hearing this year after year, without it ever actually happening. I’ll believe the Mariners are going to be serious about using salary as a method for improving the team, and that there will actually be jam today instead of tomorrow, when I see it happen.

    Part of the reason this organization is in the hole it is is they’ve had to lower salary by 30 million (in stages) AND rebuild the farm system simultaneously. What that’s meant is year after year of Jack bringing home slightly dented credenzas/baseball players during Large Item Pickup Day, and seeing the occasional success (Branyan), and frequent failures. Instead of getting Edwin Jackson, we get Kevin Millwood… and so on.

    Oh, and if you look here and scroll down a bit:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SEA/2012-roster.shtml

    You’ll see that the team is slated to have ~10 million in free salary (estimating that next year’s roster costs around $70 million, the salary budget stays similar to 2012, no resigning FAs, bringing back everyone who gets arbitration). That’s WITHOUT signing Ichiro- and if you say “sayonara”, that means you’re looking at replacing 3-5 WAR between the farm and the $10 million in free salary you now have (assuming you hold salary constant, which you might not- the M’s have cut salary consistently since 2008, why stop now?)… just to put together the same non-contending team talent level you have now.

    I suppose you could let Vargas and Ryan walk instead of offering arbitration, and get an extra 10 million or so… except now you’re replacing more like 6-10 WAR from the farm + 20 million in free salary to get you back to a 70ish win team, and needing even more to get more wins.

    It’s not a lot of fun being Cassandra in May, but this franchise isn’t in great shape, as much as we might like Zduriencik. There’s talent in the minors, but it’s by no means clear that there’s a path to contention if guys like Smoak are turning into bigtime busts.

  123. zak24 on May 17th, 2012 5:29 pm

    e coward: you’re the posterboy for glass-half-empty Armchair GMs everywhere

  124. Mariners2620 on May 17th, 2012 5:32 pm

    What is going on with Nick Franklin? He hasn’t been in the lineup for almost two straight weeks?

  125. BillyJive on May 17th, 2012 5:41 pm

    We send essentially the same players out there everyday hoping for different results. Does that seem dumb to anyone else?

  126. UnderTheClouds on May 17th, 2012 5:56 pm

    Replacing Wedge and Zduriencik will not address the root cause of this team’s miserable status: the Seattle Mariners simply have a very bad ownership group. I think it is one of the worst in pro sports.

    I remember in the mid-part of the last decade (2007?), when The Seattle Times published a lengthy article that was the centerpiece of their Spring Training preview. Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong proclaimed: “Hold us accountable!” if the team doesn’t win. Of course, that was and remains a hollow sentiment–an owner can do as he pleases, without concern of being fired. So I have to ask myself: What does holding ownership accountable mean? I don’t know. Fans will still support this team. Casual spectators, less concerned with the quality of play and the decade-long ineptitude of this organization will still enjoy a mid-July game, no matter the score. TV money will still flow in. Relocated fans of other teams can have a blast making Safeco a second Fenway Park or Rogers Centre. The beat goes on. 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. 2010 merges into 2011, which seamlessly melds into 2012. A GM proclaims he sees the light at the end of the tunnel and a manager talks about progress and holding players accountable.

    Safeco Field was lavishly financed by the taxpayers under the premise that a first-class ballpark would allow the Mariners to remain competitive. Not win all the time, or spend insane amounts of money on free agents, but remain relevant and competitive. I can think of several organizations, with roughly the same revenues, that do a far better job of running a competent operation. The Braves, the Giants (with the burden of paying off a self-financed park), the Cardinals–all mid-revenue teams that manage to stay relevant, even when they don’t make the playoffs. They don’t finish last 8 out of 10 years. I don’t think that’s because they’re luckier than the M’s.

    Mr Lincoln is a successful retired businessman–formerly a lawyer and VP at Nintendo. Maybe this is killing him inside and he just doesnt know what to do. I do believe that, at a very basic level, there should be some level of shame attached to the owners. Embarrassment that a civic jewel has been tarnished so thoroughly, and for far too long to be considered bad luck. That this string of last place finishes is a reflection of a lack of leadership of the owners, and perhaps the low expectations of the fans. Maybe attracting quality baseball people is especially difficult in this tucked away corner of the country? I don’t know. I am comfortable with believing that ownership’s failure is outside the margin of statistical noise, which leads me to conclude that it’s likely to continue.

    The current owners deserve an enormous amount of credit for saving the M’s from relocation in 1992, when many in baseball assumed it could never succeed in Seattle. Beyond that, I believe when drama surrounding Safeco’s construction passed, so did this ownership’s reason for owning this team.

  127. GLS on May 17th, 2012 6:00 pm

    “We send essentially the same players out there everyday hoping for different results. Does that seem dumb to anyone else?”

    Those are the players we have. The (presumably) positive aspect is that some of those players are at the early stages of their career growth curves. But some of those players will also be busts or, if not busts, not as good as we hoped.

  128. bookbook on May 17th, 2012 6:13 pm

    Should the M’s have signed Edwin Jackson this year (if he was willing)? Absolutely.

    Do they need to find a solid hitter or two? Yep, at the right price.

    Are Z and co. doing a reasonably good job overall? I think so.

    Ackley, Seager, Montero, Felix, Hultzen, Walker, Paxton, Pryor, 1 or 2 of Smoak, Catricala, Romero, Miller, Ramirez, Carraway, Noesi, the field… Could it be a core? Maybe so. It sucks, and it’s still going to take too much time, but better alternatives don’t abound.

  129. eponymous coward on May 17th, 2012 8:16 pm

    e coward: you’re the posterboy for glass-half-empty Armchair GMs everywhere

    Pretty much every team that isn’t managed by a brain-dead GM can point to some talent in the minors, and it’s not particularly apparent that Zduriencik is the best GM in his own division, let alone his league or all of MLB. (That being said, just being a very good GM could mean you’re BIlly Beane and the way you show how good you are is by your teams not being bad while your ownership spends $0.47 on player salary, instead of being winning hardware.)

    Just having some interesting minor league talent and having a pretty decent GM gets you to the starting line. It’s not the end point, so I don’t think it’s time to pencil in championships until they show up. Right now, I look at this team and see that importing Guti, Wells, Robinson, Carp and Smoak has netted us a precise total of zero MLB players that you’d say “yeah, he’s an average MLB player” to play OF or 1B- we’re essentially left with Ichiro being the only player in the org who’s shown he’s worth a damn at those positions, with all that group + Saunders as below average players (and that’s after giving Smoak 1000 plate appearances and counting). Not all of that is Zduriencik’s fault, but it’s going on four years. Is it really THAT hard to find a guy at a corner position who can post a .750 OPS from age 24-30 without costing you a ton of talent or cash?

  130. The_Waco_Kid on May 17th, 2012 9:38 pm

    I think if we stay on pace to lose 95 again, Jack gets fired at some point. I wouldn’t like it, but ownership needs to cover their asses, unless they are about to sell.

    The joke of it is, it’s possible Jack gets fired this year or next, but within a few years we contend with a bunch of players acquired on his watch.

  131. UnderTheClouds on May 17th, 2012 11:18 pm

    I don’t see Jack Zdurencik getting fired this year, no matter what, because I do not believe the ownership feels the need to cover their asses. The majority owner is 84 years old and lives in another country. The local minority owners, whatever their desire for a winning team, are not visible in their association with the on-field fortunes of the team. And despite the awful teams, the M’s have a remarkably strong income. There is no consequence to them or the organization if this is another 100 loss season, other than an incremental loss in attendance next year.

    I think the plan Z has put in place this offseason will be allowed to proceed unmolested, however it turns out. After this season, who knows?

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